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White House COVID-19 Response Team: Don’t Skip Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccines

May 03, 2021

During a recent press briefing, the nation’s top infectious disease experts outlined the benefits of receiving both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and urged Americans to make appointments for their second dose.

“Get vaccinated, and if you’re having a two-dose regimen, make sure you get that second dose,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

To date, about 92 percent of people receiving the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are returning for their second shot, Dr. Fauci said. One early study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center highlighted the benefits of receiving both doses, including a “36-fold difference” in the infection rate between fully and partially vaccinated employees, Dr. Fauci said.

Administration of the two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should occur 21 days apart. The interval for the Moderna vaccine is 28 days. If it’s not feasible to adhere to those guidelines, the second dose of either vaccine can be scheduled up to six weeks after the first dose, Dr. Fauci said.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine utilizes a different process to trigger the body’s immune protection and only requires one dose.

The White House COVID-19 Response Team highlighted several positive trends in the nation’s pandemic response:

  • The seven-day daily average has decreased to 53,000 cases, a 16 percent decline. Hospitalizations have declined 8 percent
  • 55 percent of American adults have had at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 100 Million Americans are fully vaccinated
  • The U.S. is on track to have enough vaccines for every adult American by the end of May

HAP and Pennsylvania’s hospitals encourage everyone to make an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and to return for their second-dose appointments. The approved vaccines are safe, effective, and provide excellent protection against COVID-19.

To ensure no COVID-19 vaccines are wasted, Pennsylvanians are asked to schedule appointments with a single vaccine provider and cancel any duplicate appointments they may have made.

The White House’s COVID-19 Response Team briefings are available online.